Cameras or no cameras?

Managing inventory depends upon appropriate controls.  It requires a balance between making access to inventory simple and convenient while ensuring that it is used as intended, charged for, and protected from disappearance.  It is important to implement comprehensive internal controls throughout your company to protect against internal fraud and theft.  For example, segregate duties so that no one person controls all of a particular area such as inventory management.  A different person should order inventory from that who receives it.  Similar segregation of duties are required for managing and handling payments, both Accounts Payable and Accounts Receivable.

One frequent question is:  "Should I install cameras?"  Many practice owners are hesitant to install cameras, because they believe it sends a signal that they don't trust their team.  Instead, cameras are a protection issue.  You are protecting your team from potential controversy, harm, and negative activity associated with potential theft in the practice.   Cameras provide security for employees, who may be at the practice in off-hours as well.  With increasing regulations regarding controlled substances management, cameras help to strengthen those controls and ensure that those who are doing things correctly are protected from possible fraud or theft by someone else.  Cameras can be very helpful in protecting your team, and a candid conversation with them to educate everyone that it is protection for them, given the higher scrutiny the practice is under by state and federal authorities, and potential intrusion by others when few are around.  After the initial discussion, most people will forget the cameras are there.

In the event you get harsh feedback from an employee, you should probably be suspicious that they don't want you to see something.  Be wary of the employee who is too protective of their records, perhaps never taking a vacation for fear their process of theft or fraud may be discovered.  Implement sound internal controls throughout your practice to protect your entire team.

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